The Beaver Movie Review
admovieso | April 6, 2012 | No comments
Jodie Foster directed new movie The Beaver, a marvelous portrait of mental illness that’s hopeful, serious, unusual and very sensitive. If the marketing is done well, movie forums are making it look like it could receive a wide audience.
Mel Gibson plays Walter Black in upcoming movie “The Beaver.” In the first scene we see him floating in a swimming pool, his arms outstretched like those of Jesus Christ. Later on, we’re told that he’s “hopelessly depressed” and then we see him flagellating himself in a penitential way. It appears that art is imitating Gibson’s life.
By putting Gibson’s problems right up front, it makes it easier for the audience to avoid distraction that would have been caused if we were left to speculate about Gibson’s controversies. We are told that the troubled character is being played by an equally troubled actor.
Foster warned, while introducing the movie, that it’s not a comedy. However, this movie picture does seem to begin in comedy mode. The music is very upbeat - it’s Marcelo Zarvos’ interpretation of Astor Piazzola’sTangonuevo. And Walter’s suicide attempt, the night before he’s thrown out by his wife, played by Foster, who can no longer deal with his depression, is turned into slapstick.
Walter’s breakthrough after his suicide attempt is not treated too seriously. His way of dealing with the world is to use a beaver puppet he finds in the garbage to communicate.
Walter, in new movie release “The Beaver,” goes back home and back o work, dealing with his family, friends, and co-workers through the “mouth” of the beaver – who talks with a cockney accent and handles life better than Walter would have on his own. People accept the situation because Walter presents it as a legitimate therapy and because it works really well for him. Foster does a great job of making the puppet come to life.
Foster, and the script which is Kyle Killen’s first foray into movie scripting, manages to get quite a few laughs. One of the funniest scenes is when Walter and his wife consummate his homecoming as a threesome – Gibson, Foster, and the puppet.
The turning point of the movie comes when Foster, playing wife Meredith, insists that she and Walter have their anniversary dinner without the puppet. Walter feels exposed and has a breakdown. Gibson gives an affecting performance here as the action continues to grow darker.
Walter’s oldest son, Porter, played by Anton Yelchin, is very embarrassed by his father’s puppet and is ashamed when he realizes his resemblance to his father.